Both sides had goals disallowed in a fiery Milan Derby, but the San Siro showdown ended all square.
It’s likely neither side will qualify for Europe, so local pride had become more important than ever and 75,000 packed into San Siro for the derby. Fredy Guarin and Marcelo Brozovic were suspended with Zdravko Kuzmanovic, Jonathan, Dodo and Hugo Campagnaro injured. Roberto Mancini surprisingly gave 18-year-old Assane Gnoukouri his full debut, having played only 12 minutes against Verona last week. Pippo Inzaghi gave Suso his first Serie A start in a new trident, while Alex stepped in for Gabriel Paletta.
Hernanes had the first chance after 10 minutes, unleashing a long-range screamer that Diego Lopez palmed out from under the bar.
Mateo Kovacic fired over from distance, while Jeremy Menez rolled across with nobody ready to tap in and Suso’s snapshot stung the gloves of Samir Handanovic.
Hernanes wasted a promising free kick and Gary Medel was booked, meaning he will be suspended against Roma.
Milan had the ball in the net on the half-hour mark with Alex after a Suso free kick almost turned into a Danilo D’Ambrosio own goal, but the offside flag was raised.
Giacomo Bonaventura rolled across for Marco van Ginkel, intercepted crucially by Andrea Ranocchia, then Handanovic did the same to stop Menez’s low cross. Diego Lopez had to hoof clear under pressure from Mauro Icardi.
Palacio thought he had scored, but the offside flag had already been deployed for Icardi on the assist.
On 57 minutes Palacio managed to squeeze his finish round Diego Lopez from a tight angle, only to be denied by a Philippe Mexes goal-line clearance.
There was a controversial moment when Hernanes saw his shot charged down on the penalty spot. Luca Antonelli was right next to him and Hernanes kicked the ball up on to his hand, but it’s also true to say the Milan defender’s arm was outstretched. The referee considered it to be involuntary amid penalty appeals.
The hugely impressive Gnoukouri had to be replaced after suffering from cramp. Inter started to step up the pressure and Diego Lopez smothered a Palacio pass at Icardi’s feet with help from Alex, who suffered a muscular problem during that move.
Inter thought they had scored with a classic counter when Hernanes burst down the left and rolled across for Palacio, only for Mexes to accidentally bundle it over his own line. However, the officials disallowed it for a Palacio shove on Antonelli in the build-up as they all ran into the box.
The Nerazzurri were unlucky soon after, as Diego Lopez fingertipped a Juan Jesus angled drive round the post and from that corner Joel Obi’s shot took a deflection off Palacio and struck the goalkeeper from point-blank range without him seeming to know where the ball was.
Danilo D’Ambrosio’s screamer skimmed the crossbar, Mattia Destro fired straight at Handanovic and Nemanja Vidic charged down from Menez.
Icardi had a great chance in the final minute, his first touch delightful then flicking it away from Gabriel Paletta, but the finish was drilled just wide.
Nigel de Jong’s acrobatic volley didn’t surprise Handanovic at the back stick.